WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
Is there any factual merit to the story? Do cars really roll uphill? And do tiny handprints really appear?
Several investigations into the legend have come up empty-handed when it comes to documentation of the accident. A precise (or even consistent) date has never been determined. There seem to be no records or archived newspaper articles about such a tragic accident. And the much-used excuse of "well, records weren't kept very well back then" seems inept at best. A San Antonio police officer, who regularly patrolled that district and had heard the ghost story, researched police records for such an accident and found nothing.
So what about the gravity-defying cars? Are they pushed or not? According to The Haunted "Ghost Tracks" of San Antonio at Abstract Dreamteching, a local television station hired a surveyor to determine whether or not there was an upward grade on the road running toward the tracks. "They claimed the results showed that, despite an illusionary appearance of a level, or even slightly inclined road, the street surface was actually at a 2 degree declination as it approached the railroad track crossing."
In other words, the road runs downhill slightly, so naturally a car in neutral will roll in that direction of its own accord.
And what of the fingerprints and handprints? The logical explanation is that a light powder reveals prints that are already there; in fact, that's the basis of fingerprint detection in police work. "Latent fingerprints can be lifted from some objects years after they are made; crimes have been solved thusly," says the author at Abstract Dreamteching.
OTHER WEIRD THINGS
So there's a logical explanation for everything that occurs at this railroad crossing, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. Whether there ever was an accident involving children on a school bus at this spot is open to serious question. Nevertheless, many people report other strange phenomena taking place there:
- The author at Abstract Dreamteching, using an audio cassette recorder in the course of his investigation, recorded an unexplained heartbeat. He also had "a genuinely frightening psychic/spiritual experience" of an undisclosed nature.
- The author also reported that during a few of his experiments at the intersection, his car inexplicably slowed down and stopped squarely on the tracks. "It was truly startling moment," he says. "There was no reasonable explanation for the occurrence, only the odd thought that the ghosty kids wanted some company."
- At least one other person, a native San Antonian, had car trouble on the tracks. "We did start out about 30 yards from the tracks," she told mysa.com. "But as we got closer my husband would press on the brakes. When he let go the car would go faster. He did it again and again and the car went until the last time. He stopped on the tracks and the car did not go. To top that, the car did not start either. We stayed there for about 5 or 10 minutes and decided to push it under the Loop 410 overpass. We were there all day until someone came to help us tow the car home."
- Brenda Pacheco experienced more than the ghostly handprints. "The four of us heard children's voices... loud and clear, like children playing on a school ground. We listened in amazement, then it stopped abruptly!"
- Pacheco claims another bizarre event occurred when her sister tried the experiment. Because she had a white car, they did not spread powder on it. "When her car was pushed over, we were shocked! No handprints, but there were little blood droplets all over her trunk! They continued down the sides and there were blood droplets on the inside of the car where her daughter had the window down on the back door!"
Janis Raley, writing at mysa.com, explains how several photographs she took at the tracks with a digital camera contained anomalous elements:
"We started getting the fairly common phenomena called orbs or spheres. Although no one can really explain what this is, we have gotten the same thing repeatedly at burial sites and other areas of high energy. After a half hour of shooting, we starting getting vapor or mists, those unshaped forms more associated with the popular Hollywood, conception of ghosts. The energy seemed to be most noticeable directly behind one of the X-shaped railroad crossing signs, on the north side. For a short time the orbs seemed to be hanging back in the heavy brush behind the sign. After a few minutes of constant camera flashes, they moved toward the center of the tracks. As the energy forms moved, we tried to follow, focusing our attention on the cars and trucks as they crossed over the tracks. Some slowly, some quickly. We ended up with photographs of the orbs behind and in the back of a pick-up as it rolled over the tracks."
LITTLE GIRL GHOST?
I received the photograph shown here, taken at the haunted tracks by the daughter of Andy and Debi Chesney.
Debi's note reads:
"My daughter and some friends went to San Antonio, Texas this last weekend and went to the railroad tracks where they say that a busload of children were killed a long time ago. They took several pictures. They emailed them to me after they got home to show me, and a ghost appeared in this one. They had no idea that it was in the picture until the next day when I printed out the picture and showed them. It was really freaky. It appears to be a little girl carrying a teddy bear."
Take a look at some enlargements and enhancements of the image. What do you think?
Whether the legend of the haunted railroad crossing is true or not, is there an explanation for the strange phenomena reported by the many visitors to the spot? Could it be that the expectations of all these people produce a kind of energy that results in the paranormal activity?